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Twitter, Google beware: Instagram opens API for advertisers

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Twitter, Google beware: Instagram opens API for advertisers

More than 3 years after being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, one of the most popular social photo sharing networks is taking the first steps towards independence and analysts feel that the ones to have to worry the most will have to be the likes of Twitter and Google.

Instagram announced this week that it would open up its ads API for advertisers. This means that marketers can now directly buy ads for Instagram instead of having to go via Facebook or a third-party. Instagram has been testing its ads API for the past few months.

Facebook has many times in the past reiterated that it will be approaching the matter of advertising on Instagram cautiously and now it seems that the social networking giant is confident enough that advertising can come to Instagram without the expense of user cheer.

eMarketer, in a June report, has said that Instagram will bring in $595 million in mobile ad revenues worldwide this year .

“We expect to see rapid growth in Instagram’s ad revenues this year and throughout the forecast period (2015-2017)—driven by high demand for the social network’s new ad products, which will expand beyond branding to include direct response, the ability to buy ads via an API, and enhanced measurement and targeting features,” said the writers of the research report. They further said that it will have higher net mobile display ad revenues in the US than both Google and Twitter in 2017. Instagram is already the second biggest social network in the US.

More than 70 per cent of its traffic is said to come from outside the US though numbers for individual countries are not available. Instagram advertising via API is still to be made available in India though it is expected to start by September. However, some digital marketers are still excited about the possibilities available.

“Instagram ads will be an excellent way for brands to increase their outreach to the audiences available on the photo sharing application. While organic content strategies being implemented currently are great and driving levels of innovation, our media team predicts the advertisements will be a great boost to drive action in the form of purchases and application downloads. While embracing Instagram Advertising, marketers must ensure the platform doesn't get cluttered, leading to irate consumers,” said Zafar Rais , CEO of MindShift Interactive.

Gautamm Mehra, Business Head (Social Media) of iProspect Communicate2 termed it “fantastic”. According to him, it would give a huge boost to marketing targeted towards youth, lifestyle and travel. “Instagram is the purest form of brand communication and now for an advertiser to be able to communicate at scale is going to be fantastic,” he added.

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